Values, fear, morals prevent some students from cheating

Some Florida A&M University students admit there is pressure to cheat on schoolwork. The Social Science Research Network has reported that a significant number of undergraduate students have cheated at some point during their college careers.

For most college students maintaining good grades are a must for a number of reasons, ranging from athletic purposes to the need for financial aid. When all of these factors come into play the pressures to cheat may start to rise, but for some students this pressure is not a pressing issue.

Rontel Batie, 19, a freshman political science student from St. Augustine, said the thought of cheating has never occurred to him. Being the freshman class president, Batie has an image to uphold and said that when you cheat your grades will not reflect who you really are as a person.

“When you cheat you’re only cheating yourself out of knowledge,” Batie said. “The foundation that has been bestowed upon me was to never lie, cheat or steal.”

Although Batie has his morals to rest on, others may not have been taught the same principles. Freshmen may feel the pressure to succeed like they did in high school. They may fear not accomplishing the same or higher goals.

Samuel Lockridge, 18, a freshman business student from Kansas City, Kan., was the president of his student government association in high school and said he understands that in order to get to that point in college he has to put forth some effort into his schoolwork.

“I had to work hard to get to where I was in high school,” Lockridge said. “I know I probably would have to work twice as hard in college to get to that same level.”

Lockridge may understand the rewards of hard work and effort, but not every first-year student can deliver the same performance from high school. Some students said it is hard for them to ignore the pressures that surround them.

Jaleesa Henley, 18, a freshman computer science student from Miami, said she is definitely in that number.

“I feel pressure every day,” Henley said. “It can get kind of hard adjusting to this newly found college life.”

College life may be a newfound experience for Henley and she may need some time to adjust to the demands of college, but even some upper classmen feel the heat to cheat.

Lambert Parker II, 21, a senior industrial engineering student from Miami, said there is pressure to cheat, but he cares too much about his future to even take that risk.

“I do sometimes feel the pressures, but I don’t want to take the risk of being expelled or kicked out of the engineering program,” Parker said. “I may lose a couple of hours of sleep but at the end of the day I know that I passed of failed because of me and not because of Jimmy or Susie.”

Josh Ellis, 20, a third-year business administration student from Gary, Ind., said FAMU’s business program is one of the best in the nation. He said the competition can start to get a little stiff, so he can see how that might cause the temptation to cheat, but good professional help can combat that temptation.

“I don’t feel the need to cheat in one of the most meticulous programs because the professors are very adequate and do their jobs. I would describe them as exceptional,” Ellis said.

Because of the preparation from the great teaching staff, Ellis said he does not even feel the need to compete with his business classmates.

“We are all very prepared upon graduation, and don’t feel the need to battle with one another,” he said.